June in Review: LGBTQ+ Books

With June coming to a close, I thought I would go over books that I have read this month.  If you have read my post at the beginning of the month, which you can find here: https://the-little-library.org/2022/06/06/recommended-reads-for-pride-month/ you’ll know that I recommended some LGBTQ+ centered books.  In it, I mentioned how every so often I will pick a theme for what I will read in a particular month.  This gives me an opportunity to try new books and possibly find new books that I might just enjoy.  This June, I decided to do a Pride Month theme.  I had a few books lined up already that either involved LGBTQ+ characters or themes or was written by someone in the LGBTQ+ community, it lined up perfectly.

I read thirteen books and graphic novels this month that had LGBTQ+ themes and characters.  These are the ones I would recommend. And while I will try to avoid spoilers as much as possible, I will include a little Minor Spoilers warning just in case.

From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper

I had started this book towards the end of May and at the beginning of June.  I also included this book on my recommendation list since it was part of a series and I had already read the first book.  It only seemed fair to include it there because of that.  But now that I have finished it, I am going to do a separate mini review and recommendation.  As well as discuss a theory I had and whether or not it was true.

To start off, I really enjoyed this story.  I enjoyed Isidora and the story that this novel had.  I also enjoyed the enemies to lovers take that this story took.  It took it’s time and didn’t feel like it rushed into a romance between Rowan and Isidora.  It also approached the rivaling families and learning more about the other through the two leads well. 

If I had to critique anything about it, it would probably be a few uninteresting scenes and I guess I found the miscommunication around Isidora and Rowan when they first kissed and such a tad annoying.

Now in my recommendation, I theorized why From Bad to Cursed could have been included in the LGBT sub-tag/category of the Romance tag.  In it I stated how it was possibly Rowan could have been trans, thinking that that could have been what Isidora learned about Rowan.  He could have also been bi, which was a speculation I had after making the post and as I was reading the first quarter or so of the book.  With out spoiling really much, Rowan isn’t either.  So I will assume that people were tagging it with LGBT because other characters in the story are.

Either way, I did enjoy this book.  Between the two, I might like Payback’s a Witch a bit more, but I did like this book.

Miss Memory Lane by Colton Haynes

I was introduced to Colton Haynes through his portrayal of Roy Harper on CW’s Arrow.  Roy was one of my favorite characters from the show, if only a little underutilized/underdeveloped at times. Roy Harper is also one of my favorite DC characters, and I thought Colton did really well.

This autobiography caught my eye after a coworker and friend of mine did an ARC review for it.  Based on the synopsis on the inside cover, I thought it would be an interesting and deep self reflection.  It was and then some.  I knew some of the topics discussed might not have been easy to talk about, however, this book held no punches.  And that, is something I found fascinating and honest.  It was well written and Colton didn’t hold any punches.

It does touch some sensitive topic, so if you do plan on reading this, which I would recommend,  I do want to give readers that forewarning.  It’s a really good memoir and is worth a read.

Dana Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Working at a library has its perks.  Every now and then you may find a book returned or circulating that catches your eye.  That’s kind of the case with this book.  While that cover and title certainly grabbed my curiosity, it was the description on the back cover that sparked my interest.  Similar to From Bad to Cursed this appears to be part of a planned trilogy.  But unlike From Bad to Cursed this is the first book.

Dana Green Doesn’t Care is a fun read if your looking for a not so traditional spin on the wedding planning goes wild trope.  The second book Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail is set to release in November 2022 and book three Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date has an expected publication of some time next year.

I did enjoy this book for the most part. I enjoyed the chemistry between Claire and Delilah as well as how their relationship progressed and it was a fun spin on the wedding rom com. I also like how the reason for them wanting to split Astrid and her fiancé up wasn’t exactly malicious and them not liking him ultimately having some backing as they would later find out. How they went about it could have been different, but it wasn’t like they were out to get Astrid because of Delilah’s rocky relationship with her or feeling like marriage was going to take her away from her friends.

My only critique comes in the form of how it feels a bit Hallmark-like or cliché with the whole Astrid and Delilah making a bet about the latter getting with Claire. Maybe it was just me, but especially during the climax and resolution, it did feel a little formulaic/familiar. Not that I didn’t think Claire and Delilah shouldn’t get together, because they did have great chemistry. It just felt a little odd to me.

A Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality by Molly Muldoon and Will Hernandez

As the title suggests, this is a quick and easy guide to asexuality. I found myself reading a few nonfiction books this month and this was a fun and quick read. It’s a graphic novel and I found it to be informative in a simple and knowledgeable way. It was the shortest book I read for Pride Month, clocking in at 72 pages, and is a part of a five book series. The other books in this series include A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns, A Quick and Easy Guide to Consent, A Quick and Easy Guide to Sex and Disability, and A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities.

A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities by Mady G and J.R. Zuckerberg

Speaking of other books in the series, I did read two other books in the series. The third, I will get into in a moment, but I thought I would discuss this one first. Much like A Quick and Easy Guide to Asexuality I found this to be a fun and informed read. It does set it up in a way that is simple and easy to understand.

A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson

I’ll most likely read the other two books in the series, however, I wasn’t sure if I would get A Quick and Easy Guide to Sex and Disability in time since I had to have it shipped from another library than the two I work at, and it could take a while, and A Quick and Easy Guide to Consent will depend on whether or not it gets to me in time.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Having seen this series get a lot of traction at the library, I was curious and decided to check it out. This is a Young Adult/Teen graphic novel series that currently has four volumes out with a fifth on the way and a few tie ins including a Detroit Becomes Human styled what if and a mini comic. As well as a coloring book.

I’m caught up, and I have to say that I am really enjoying it. Nick and Charlie feel relatable, with each having struggles that readers can relate to. The art is nice and is a coming of age that isn’t afraid to shy away from serious topics that teens may find themselves relating to.

This series got a Netflix adaptation back in April of this year. I really enjoyed it for it being a sweet and realistic coming of age that deals with everyday drama of high-school while being LGBTQ+.

Batman Urban Legends

Batman Urban Legends is a series that has been on my reading list since I heard about what this issue confirmed. I’ll admit my motivation to read DC has been at a bit of a lull. With DC Rebirth, the overarching DC run that picked up after the New 52, ending and me feeling a bit burnt out from Nightwing’s Joker War tie-in and not knowing what to pick up next, I took a break from DC Comics. This is also around the time I started picking up the X-Men comics.

As I mentioned, Batman Urban Legends has been on my reading list for a while, however, it wasn’t until recently that I got motivated to jump into it. That and Sandman are currently on my list of DC reads, with the latter being recommended to me by a friend and so that I can prepare for the Netflix adaptation coming out in August. I do own Batman Urban Legends and after reading it, I thought it was enjoyable. The issue with Tim coming out as bi being the reason I wanted to check it out.

I currently only have the first volume, which cover stories centering around Red Hood and Grifter separately. So while this volume might not have had the issues I was looking for, I would still recommend it and I will be getting volume two as soon as possible. That is where Tim comes out as bisexual and asks his friend (now boyfriend) Bernard out on a date. Overall, I would say that I am enjoying this series so far and would recommend it.

Conclusion

With some fiction and nonfiction, I hope I was able to help you find a book worth reading. If not, I hope you enjoyed this recommendation.

I’ll leave you with a few questions. Did you do any reading? If so, what? What are LGBTQ+ books you’ve read and would recommend?

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